One of my biggest struggles of the COVID era is the lack of in-person fellowship and time together. As clergy women and men, many of us crave that personal interaction to build relationships with one another. Although we cannot yet safely meet in person, we can spend time together on October 22 for our Bishop’s Time Apart. I would like to personally invite you to this online event.
I would hasten to say the clergy in the Alabama-West Florida Conference have been through more traumatic events than most other conferences. Between the anticipation of general conference that did not occur; multiple natural disasters; racial tensions; political divides; and of course navigating the many ways COVID has affected our local churches and congregations, each of you has had to bear the burden of your own stress and the weight of these life-changing situations. These historic events add many layers of conflict around decisions.
With October being clergy appreciation month, I want to offer this time apart on October 22 from 10-12pm. This will be shorter than our normal day apart due to the schedule demands you all face. Our time together will be led by Dr. John Paul Lederach. Dr. Lederach has experience with international conciliation work in war-torn settings such as Nicaragua and Somalia. He has also written over 22 books on peacebuilding including the book, “Reconcile: Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians.” He currently is a Senior Fellow with Humanity United, a Foundation that works with peace and conflict resolution. The organization also seeks to end present day slavery and child trafficking. He will share with us about his experience in international conflict situations, give us the scriptural basis for such work, and leave us with practical tools for working through conflict in our setting. Our time apart will also include breakout sessions to connect with peers.
I hope you will join me for this online gathering. Please register by clicking here. CEUs (.2) are available for this event at the conclusion of the session.
I am grateful for each of you and have you in my daily prayers.
Bishop David Graves